In 1995, the Lansing Board of Water and Light helped found the Mid-Michigan Water Authority, a regional water supply coordinating entity formed solely to benefit its member communities.
Members of the Water Authority include Bath Charter Township, Delta Charter Township, Delhi Charter Township, Village of Dimondale, City of Grand Ledge, City of Lansing, Lansing Charter Township, Oneida Charter Township,Village of Webberville and Windsor Charter Township. The Water Authority's mission is to provide a cooperative forum for development of a regional water system for its member communities and to help them obtain safe, reliable and cost effective water resources.
The Authority's goals are:
Assure availability of water, based on a projection of individual community needs, through the identification of resources and methods of supply, while protecting ground water;
Provide a treated water supply and distribution system which will interface with local water system through the development and implementation of an engineered plan;
Ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and establish a forum for the coordination of treatment;
Assist in developing financing resources and exchanges of water between communities on a cost effective basis;
Manage the regional water system development plan to respond to the changing needs of individual communities;
Provide information and education to local communities, state and federal officials and legislators, and K-12 systems using ongoing communications, public relations and by providing an open public forum;
Encourage maximum participation to achieve economies of scale and preservation of resources.
In the late 1980's, several public water supplies in the Tri-County area were in the midst of evaluating construction or expansion of their water treatment facilities. One possible alternative included purchasing bulk water from the BWL, where treatment capacity exceeded the system's projected needs. In 1988, a drought in the region accentuated the differences in capabilities between existing public water systems. The combined set of circumstances led to an open house at Michigan State University, where community representatives discussed the feasibility of a cooperative approach to providing public water supply throughout the region.
Our regional communities acknowledged their mutual dependence on the Saginaw aquifer. A model for cooperation on groundwater issues already existed between area communities in the form of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Groundwater Management Board... In 1990, the BWL participated in a Water Regionalization Task Force along with representatives from other communities. With the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission as its fiscal agent the Task Force sought proposals to evaluate the legal, technical and economic feasibility of a regional approach to water supply development.
Final conclusion of the studies showed that there is great advantage in participating as part of a regional authority.